Restaurants, shops, movie theaters, hotels ― all see less business. More workers lose their jobs. Fewer people have money to spend. It’s safe to say that workers across the country have found their pockets hit by the coronavirus crisis, whether they’ve been furloughed, have taken a pay cut, or have faced redundancy.
However, there are ways to help save money and manage budgets with less cash coming in, like keeping energy bills down, cancelling TV subscriptions and getting a refund on unused travel cards.
Cuttings down on bills
In times of financial difficulty, it is important to make cuts where you can. Even during the coronavirus crisis, you can still make sure you are not overpaying on services like energy, mobile and broadband. A simple switch can save you hundreds of pounds over a year.
If you’re in trouble, ask for help
Many providers are offering payment breaks and tariff changes to help customers struggling to meet bills. Some, including Thames Water, are even offering grants to households with outstanding bills from previous years. Many banks are also allowing customers to go on a mortgage payment holiday.
Saving money on pay TV
Even with more time on your hands, there is still thousands of hours of TV to keep you occupied without hefty subscriptions. Check services like Now TV for free trials and All4 and iPlayer for movies and TV shows included in the cost of your TV licence.
With most sports in the UK postponed, there is little reason to be splashing out on expensive subscriptions. Contact your provider to see if you can pause your payments or get money back. Both Sky and Virgin Media are offering sports customers the chance to pause their payments, while BT are offering a credit on future bills.
Assess any outgoings you can get refunded
With the Government now urging the public not to use public transport, you may find yourself with a costly travel card you cannot use, so look at getting these refunded.
While you can no longer get your exercise fix from a morning in the gym, make sure you’re not paying for it. Most gyms have frozen membership payments while others have switched to online fitness classes.
Vehicles that are not on the road do not need to be insured. If the coronavirus crisis means you no longer need to use your car, you can apply for a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to officially declare your car ‘off road’. Once it is certified, you no longer need to insure it or pay road tax.
Look at making some extra money
Being furloughed does not mean you cannot continue to work. Many industries are short staffed because of the coronavirus crisis, so a second job could be a good option for you. Your employment contract still applies while on furlough, so make sure your current employer is happy with you taking on new work.